Tag Archive | development

7 Tips On Creating Workplace Motivation

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Workplace motivation is one of those interesting things. We think it should just drop out of the sky like magic but it never really does. We also don’t really think about how to create motivation for ourselves. However, we really can create it with the right tools.  Let’s get on the same page about what motivation is. Motivation is what causes you to take action. Clearly, you’re at work so you do have some motivation because your action is going to work and performing your job. What we are talking about is feeling engaged and inspired about the actions you do take. Let’s look at some of the tools you can use to get fully engaged and motivated in the workplace:

1. Change

There’s nothing like changing things to really get the juices going. You don’t want to change things just for the sake of changing; however, you want to change things that don’t work well. With that, you must have a vision of what the right outcome would be and then you apply your steps to create the action for change.

2. Goals

Many times, the lack of motivation is due to a lack of direction or goals. Sit down and figure out what would really get you up in the morning and make that your goal. Having a goal isn’t enough, though. It has to be a goal that you yearn for or have some emotions about. Once established, put together a plan for how you will achieve your goals. If you really are going to shoot for something worth having, keep in mind SMART for goals = Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Resonate, and Time.

3. Be Accountable

The vast majority of us want to do things but we’re really lazy about doing them. It’s often easier to diet or workout with someone because we have a person that is looking for us to perform. Find someone to hold you accountable to yourself and be willing to trade off the favor.

4. Clean Up Your Own Internal Litter

We all have baggage, but sometimes we have so much of it cluttering up our life that it bogs us down and we fail to see what’s possible.

5. Surround Yourself With The Right People

Yes, your mother was right… it is important to hang out with the right people. In this case, hang out with people who are inspired and motivated as it will be contagious.

6. Research The Issue

Find out from others what motivates them. In the process, you may hear something that would really be great for you. Don’t be afraid to copy what works.

7. Cop An Attitude

Motivation creates more motivation. Look for it and it will be there. We often get hung up about our ability to control things in the workplace. The one thing we can control is our attitude and approach to various workplace challenges. These tools for workplace motivation are simple to do which means there is nothing but you holding you up from trying them.

By Dorothy Tannahill-Moran Work it Daily

 

6 Tips For Better Work-Life Balance

 

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These days, work-life balance can seem like an impossible feat. Technology makes workers accessible around the clock. Fears of job loss incentivize longer hours. In fact, a whopping 94% of working professionals reported working more than 50 hours per week and nearly half said they worked more than 65 hours per week in a Harvard Business School survey. Experts agree: the compounding stress from the never-ending workday is damaging. It can hurt relationships, health and overall happiness.

Work-life balance means something different to every individual, but here health and career experts share tips to help you find the balance that’s right for you.

  1. Let go of perfectionism

A lot of overachievers develop perfectionist tendencies at a young age when demands on their time are limited to school, hobbies and maybe an after-school job. It’s easier to maintain that perfectionist habit as a kid, but as you grow up, life gets more complicated. As you climb the ladder at work and as your family grows, your responsibilities mushroom. Perfectionism becomes out of reach, and if that habit is left unchecked, it can become destructive, says executive coach Marilyn Puder-York, PhD, who wrote The Office Survival Guide.

The key to avoid burning out is to let go of perfectionism, says Puder-York. “As life gets more expanded it’s very hard, both neurologically and psychologically, to keep that habit of perfection going,” she says, adding that the healthier option is to strive not for perfection, but for excellence.

  1. Unplug

From telecommuting to programs that make work easier, technology has helped our lives in many ways. But it has also created expectations of constant accessibility. The work day never seems to end. “There are times when you should just shut your phone off and enjoy the moment,” says Robert Brooks, a professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and co-author of The Power of Resilience: Achieving Balance, Confidence and Personal Strength in Your Life. Brooks says that phone notifications interrupt your off time and inject an undercurrent of stress in your system. So don’t text at your kid’s soccer game and don’t send work emails while you’re hanging out with family, Brooks advises. Make quality time true quality time. By not reacting to the updates from work, you will developing a stronger habit of resilience. “Resilient people feel a greater sense of control over their lives,” says Brooks, while reactive people have less control and are more prone to stress.


  1. Exercise and meditate

Even when we’re busy, we make time for the crucial things in life. We eat. We go to the bathroom. We sleep. And yet one of our most crucial needs – exercise – is often the first thing to go when our calendars fill up. Exercise is an effective stress reducer. It pumps feel-good endorphins through your body. It helps lift your mood and can even serve a one-two punch by also putting you in a meditative state, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Puder-York recommends dedicating a few chunks of time each week to self-care, whether it’s exercise, yoga or meditation. And if you’re really pressed for time, start small with deep breathing exercises during your commute, a quick five minute meditation session morning and night, or replacing drinking alcohol with a healthier form of stress reduction.

“When I talk about balance, not everything has to be the completion and achievement of a task, it also has to include self-care so that your body, mind and soul are being refreshed,” says Puder-York.

These exercises require minor effort but offer major payoffs. Psychotherapist Bryan Robinson, who is also professor emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and author of the book Chained to the Desk, explains that our autonomic nervous system includes two branches: the sympathetic nervous system (our body’s stress response) and the parasympathetic nervous system (our body’s rest and digest response). “The key is to find something that you can build into your life that will activate your parasympathetic nervous system,” says Robinson. Short, meditative exercises like deep breathing or grounding your senses in your present surroundings, are great places to start. The more you do these, the more you activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which “calms everything down, (and) not just in the moment,” says Robinson. “Over time you start to notice that in your life, your parasympathetic nervous system will start to trump your sympathetic nervous system.”

  1. Limit time-wasting activities and people

First, identify what’s most important in your life. This list will differ for everyone, so make sure it truly reflects your priorities, not someone else’s. Next, draw firm boundaries so you can devote quality time to these high-priority people and activities.

From there, it will be easier to determine what needs to be trimmed from the schedule. If email or internet surfing sends you into a time-wasting spiral, establish rules to keep you on task. That may mean turning off email notifications and replying in batches during limited times each day. If you’re mindlessly surfing Facebook or cat blogs when you should be getting work done, try using productivity software like Freedom, LeechBlock or RescueTime. And if you find your time being gobbled up by less constructive people, find ways to diplomatically limit these interactions. Cornered every morning by the office chatterbox? Politely excuse yourself. Drinks with the work gang the night before a busy, important day? Bow out and get a good night sleep. Focus on the people and activities that reward you the most.

To some, this may seem selfish. “But it isn’t selfish,” says Robinson. “It’s that whole airplane metaphor. If you have a child, you put the oxygen mask on yourself first, not on the child.” When it comes to being a good friend, spouse, parent or worker, “the better you are yourself, the better you are going to be in all those areas as well.”

  1. Change the structure of your life

Sometimes we fall into a rut and assume our habits are set in stone. Take a birds-eye view of your life and ask yourself: What changes could make life easier? 

Puder-York remembers meeting with a senior executive woman who, for 20 years of her marriage, arranged dinner for her husband every night. But as the higher earner with the more demanding job, the trips to the grocery store and daily meal preparations were adding too much stress to her life. “My response to her was, “Maybe it’s time to change the habit,’” recalls Puder-York. The executive worried her husband might be upset, but Puder-York insisted that, if she wanted to reduce stress, this structural change could accomplish just that.

So instead of trying to do it all, focus on activities you specialize in and value most. Delegate or outsource everything else. Delegating can be a win-win situation, says Stewart Freidman, a management professor at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School and author of Leading the Life You Want: Skills for Integrating Work and Life. Freidman recommends talking to the “key stakeholders” in different areas of your life, which could include employees or colleagues at work, a spouse or a partner in a community project. “Find out what you can do to let go in ways that benefit other people by giving them opportunities to grow,” he says. This will give them a chance to learn something new and free you up so you may devote attention to your higher priorities.

  1. Start small. Build from there.

We’ve all been there: crash diets that fizzle out, New Year’s resolutions we forget by February. It’s the same with work-life balance when we take on too much too quickly, says Brooks. Many of his workaholic clients commit to drastic changes: cutting their hours from 80 hours a week to 40, bumping up their daily run from zero miles a day to five miles a day. It’s a recipe for failure, says Brooks. When one client, who was always absent from his family dinners, vowed to begin attending the meals nightly, Brooks urged him to start smaller. So he began with one evening a week. Eventually, he worked his way up to two to three dinners per week.

“If you’re trying to change a certain script in your life, start small and experience some success. Build from there,” says Brooks.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/deborahlee/2014/10/20/6-tips-for-better-work-life-balance/#561bfbd629ff

 

Dress Your Best When Interviewing

dress at your best

An interviewer’s first impression is often a lasting one, so the way you present yourself during an interview is important, and while some outfit no-no’s are clear (always, always stay away from denim), some guidelines may be more subtle. Read below to find out why your appearance matters and get recommendations on appropriate attire during job interviews.

Does it make a difference how you dress for an interview? In many cases, it does. In a conservative business climate, appearances do matter. In other environments, it isn’t as important. For example, attire for a summer job interview or a startup job interview will be less formal, but it does make sense to dress your best for the interview, regardless of the dress code at the organization.

If you’re in doubt about how to dress for an interview, it is best to err on the side of conservatism. It is also much better to be overdressed than underdressed (or undressed). If you’re not sure, check with the person who scheduled the interview and ask.

According to Kim Zoller at Image Dynamics, 55% of another person’s perception of you is based on how you look. So while your outfit may seem like a shallow concern compared to your experience and ideas, what you wear makes a difference to how interviewers will assess you as a candidate.

Zoller shared some tips on how to look your best, without necessarily spending a lot of money. Here’s a quick look at the basics:

Women’s Professional Interview Attire

  • Solid color, conservative suit
  • Coordinated blouse
  • Moderate shoes
  • Limited jewelry
  • Neat, professional hairstyle
  • Tan or light hosiery
  • Sparse makeup and perfume
  • Manicured nails
  • Portfolio or briefcase

Men’s Professional Interview Attire

  • Solid color, conservative suit
  • White long sleeve shirt
  • Conservative tie
  • Dark socks, professional shoes
  • Very limited jewelry
  • Neat, professional hairstyle
  • Go easy on the aftershave
  • Neatly trimmed nails
  • Portfolio or briefcase

More Ways to Ensure You’re Dressed Appropriately

As you can see, the guidelines can be more complicated for women. Appropriate interview attire for men is pretty straight-forward, and the dividing lines between business casual and professional business attire are demarcated. Along with choosing an interview outfit, women must also style their hair and select an interview-appropriate bag.

Interviewers of any gender should stay away from denim — jeans are never a good choice for an interview. Unless you are applying for a position in the fashion industry, drawing attention to your clothes is best avoided. The best interview outfit is clean, well-fitting, appropriate for the company’s culture, and not attention-getting. After your interview, you want people to be talking about your experience and your ideas — not your flashy tie, sparkly shoes, or too-tight pants.

Make sure to wear deodorant, brush your teeth, and comb your hair. Bring along breath mints if you won’t be able to brush your teeth before the interview (but make sure not to eat breath mints or chew gum during the conversation). Keep scented items — cologne, perfume, and aftershave — to a minimum.

Source: https://www.thebalancecareers.com/tips-for-dressing-for-success-2061336

 

5 Tips to Improve Your Career Development: You Owe Yourself a Career Development Action Plan

This is an excerpt of an article that was last updated on August 22, 2016, on the balance.com 
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Image courtesy of the thebalance.com

Career management isn’t just a nice-to, it’s a must do if you expect to gain maximum success and happiness from the hours you invest in work. Face it, you are likely going to work 40 hours a week for your adult life. Why not make it the best 40 hours that you can create?
Career management in which you plan and work to obtain new skills, capabilities, and experiences, is the answer. Share your goals with your boss and you have a partner who can help you broaden your experience.
When most employees think about their careers, they have not thought past their current job or the next promotion that they’d like to receive. They need to broaden their short term thinking. As employees are promoted up the organization chart, fewer jobs become available, yet continuing to grow skills and experience should still be a priority for people obtaining value from their career.
Here are a few ways in which you can collaborate with your boss to manage your career.
  • Job shadow other employees in your company to learn about different jobs.
  • Explore lateral moves to broaden and deepen your experience.
  • Attend classes and training sessions to increase your knowledge.
  • Hold book clubs at work to develop knowledge, and share terminology, concepts, and team building with coworkers.
  • Seek a mentor from a different department that you’d like to explore.

10 Productive Things to Do on a Slow Day at Work

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It’s the slow season at work, and if you waste one more day playing “wastebasket ball”, you’re going to go crazy. But all your work for the day is done, and aside from counting down the minutes until lunch break, you’re out of ideas for things to do. Take control of your extra time and try these 10 ideas for productive things to do to fill your slow days at work.

 

  1. EVALUATE GOALS AND INTENTIONS 

Both professional and personal intentions for the upcoming months or year are crucial for growth and prosperity. Make your intentions visible for you to see every day and share them with freely with others — so take time to evaluate your current goals and intentions, and consider setting some new ones.

  1. IMPROVE A PROCESS

“Noises” always come up when you’re running a process; especially a process is dynamic and changing all the time. To better your work and enhance your productivity, use the slow times to evaluate a particular process you use rather frequently and create more efficient ways to work.

  1. MAKE A TO-DO LIST

It’s hard to be productive when you’re low on mental energy. Try to manage your time wisely and organize your specific activities prior to the start of the day. The best way is to make a TO-DO LIST, which helps you to choose and complete tasks with better focus, and to reflect on your overall role and whether you’re achieving your larger objectives.

  1. TIDY DESK, TIDY MIND

On a normal day, it can be hard to find the time to organize your files properly. On slow days, clean off your desk, label your folders, clean up your inbox and archive your emails, and otherwise straighten out your notes and files. That way, you’ll be more prepared when you get busy again.

  1. GET AHEAD

Your work for the day may be done, but what about tomorrow’s work? Or next week’s work? If there’s anything you can do to get ahead, DO IT. Your workday may be slow today, but you never know when a crisis will hit and interfere with your regular workload.

  1. FIND A NEW PROJECT

It never hurts to ask your supervisors for an extra project if you’ve run out of things to do. They will be impressed by your initiative, plus you won’t be bored anymore. Make sure this is just a side project without a strict deadline though, in case you do get busy.

  1. HELP YOUR COLLEAGUES

Take a walk around the office and check in with your colleagues. If anyone looks overwhelmed, offer to help them out with something. Not only will you be building a rapport with your co-workers, but you’ll be able to call in a favor in the future if you ever need some help yourself.

  1. NETWORK WITH OTHERS

When you’re busy, your calls to clients are likely short and straight to the point. Take advantage of your free time and make a few courtesy calls to your customers, just to chat and check in; or write a thank you card. Building good relationships with your clients will help you to become more well-known in your industry.

  1. READ ARTICLES

Stay informed about your industry by subscribing to newsletters and reading the latest news in your field. Staying knowledgeable will give you an edge over your colleagues. If your industry is slow, read articles about current events instead to keep yourself up-to-date on world news.

  1. EXERCISE DAILY

It’s time to take action when you’re feeling bored. Exercising before work will give you an extra energy boost to carry you through the day. When you’re in the office, you can lift 5 pounds weights, or do some yoga and stretching poses designed to be done anytime and anywhere. Taking a quick break and walking around the block also refreshes and reenergizes.